Clumber Spaniel Temperament: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em
Clumber Spaniel Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018
The mild-mannered, almost imperturbable Clumber Spaniel sometimes puts on aristocratic airs. Yet he also plays the clown, greeting people with two tennis balls stuffed into his mouth and his entire rear end wagging.
Adult Clumbers spend much of their time lying around and looking sleepy, but this massive dog needs regular exercise to stay fit.
Outdoors he comes alive and moves with great determination – he has been called "a great bustling creature."
Fetching and ball playing are good sources of exercise, but don't allow too much twisting or jumping, else he injure a disk in his unnaturally long back.
Most Clumber Spaniels are friendly with strangers and other animals. This is not a guard dog.
Though stubborn, he does respond to persuasive, persistent, motivational obedience training, especially if it includes food. He resists harshness or force by refusing to move.
The Clumber Spaniel does have a mischievous streak, especially when young. But because of his easygoing approach to life, he is seldom a problem even when he doesn't obey very quickly.
If you want a dog who...
- Is an unusual-looking spaniel – built long and low to the ground, and very, very heavy
- Is somewhat phlegmatic indoors – a true couch potato
- Comes alive outdoors and romps about with enthusiasm
- Is polite with everyone
A Clumber Spaniel may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- A heavy dog who wants to sit on your feet, lie on your lap, and lean his weight against your leg
- Providing sufficient exercise to keep his big body in shape
- Regular brushing and combing
- Constant heavy shedding
- Slobbering and drooling
- Gassiness (flatulence)
- Serious health problems and a short lifespan
- Waiting lists (very hard to find)
A Clumber Spaniel may not be right for you.
Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.
- You can avoid some negative traits by choosing an ADULT dog from an animal shelter or rescue group. With an adult dog, you can easily see what you're getting, and plenty of adult Clumber Spaniels have already proven themselves not to have negative characteristics.
- If you want a puppy, you can avoid some negative traits by choosing the right breeder and the right puppy. Unfortunately, you usually can't tell whether a puppy has inherited temperament or health problems until he grows up.
- Finally, you can avoid some negative traits by training your Clumber Spaniel to respect you and by following the 11-step care program in my book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy.
More traits and characteristics of the Clumber Spaniel
If I was considering a Clumber Spaniel, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise. Clumber Spaniels are big solid dogs developed to trot through the fields all day, seeking game birds for the hunter to shoot. So it should go without saying that a daily walk around the block isn't enough exercise.
Clumber Spaniels need daily outings in a good-sized enclosed area (yard or dog park) so they can romp about. Otherwise they will become bored, which dogs tend to express by becoming destructive. Clumber Spaniels are big-time chewers when bored!
- Stubbornness. Despite their easygoing nature, Clumber Spaniels are not pushovers to train. Most Clumber Spaniels are extremely stubborn. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. Read more about teaching your Clumber Spaniel to respect you on the Clumber Spaniel Training page.
- Grooming. Their silky feathered coat develops mats without regular brushing and combing. Occasional trimming of their "bathroom parts" is also necessary for sanitary reasons.
- Heavy shedding. Clumber Spaniels shed a LOT. You'll find white hair all over your clothing and furnishings. Make sure you're okay with that.
- Slobbering. Clumber Spaniels slobber and drool, especially after eating or drinking. Slime hangs from their loose jowls and sprays around when they shake their head.
- Potential health problems. Clumber Spaniels suffer from a very high rate of hip dysplasia. Eye problems are also a concern in the breed. Read more about Clumber Spaniel Health.
- Finding one. Only a few hundred Clumber Spaniel puppies are born each year. You'll probably need to go on a waiting list and pay a very high price.
To help you train and care for your dog
Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.
The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.
To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.